Sometimes when managing school buses, the headache of doing so can take more time away from furthering your educational mission than you’d like. But there is a way to improve service without being a professional transportation analyst and data cruncher — Global Positions Systems (GPS).
This tool, designed for the U.S. military, has come to serve such an important role in getting kids to school and home again safely and reliably. GPS improves route planning and school bell time schedules, on-time performance and even school bus maintenance.
Let’s take a look at how these wondrous little gadgets work.
Route Planning and Analysis
The GPS unit sends information on vehicle subsystem data, driver performance data and spatially encoded event information back to the GPS telematics software to:
- Locate the last reported position of any school bus;
- Determine the last reported speed and direction of driving;
- Identify the path of any bus over a given time frame;
- Provide a schedule report of when a bus arrives and leaves any determined location; and
- Obtain detailed reports regarding speed, idling and a full audit report.
With GPS, all necessary route changes are easy to pinpoint. And if you wish to have an outside vendor analyze the routes for possible bell schedule changes, having this information is key to getting a useful — and accurate — assessment.
Outside of safety, on-time performance tops the list of student transportation issues. With GPS findings from your school buses, you can compare your operation’s actual performance with designated key performance indicators. If you contract your transportation services, you can also use GPS data to establish service benchmarks and hold the company accountable to contract requirements and community satisfaction.
Improved Bus Maintenance
Most GPS units report odometer readings. With regularly reported odometer information, a technician can properly plan for upcoming maintenance, including the tracking of parts warranties. Maintained buses lead to fewer breakdowns and out-of-service buses, which can reduce stress on the entire transportation operation and the need for outside vendor repairs.
Technology continues to grow and with it, GPS functionality. To learn more about First Student’s GPS solutions, please visit our technology website by clicking here.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your GPS installation and integration, check out how First Student helped partner, School District of Waukesha, Wisconsin.